Photo/Illutration Shohei Ohtani appears in a new math textbook for elementary school students. (Yosuke Fukudome)

Shohei Ohtani, the Los Angeles Angels’ two-way superstar, appears in a new math textbook that elementary school fifth-graders in Japan will use in the school year that starts in April 2024.

“I sort of liked math when I was an elementary school student,” Ohtani says in a comment in the textbook. “It wasn’t that I did well on math tests, but I liked thinking. And I often use math as a baseball player.”

For example, Ohtani said he often “translates his hitting stance into a simple triangle shape and thinks about how to shift his weight.”

A representative of the textbook’s publisher, Tokyo Shoseki Co., said this is the first time the company has featured a celebrity’s quote in a math textbook.

The company hopes that Ohtani’s words “will help children find the meaning of learning math,” the representative said.

The education ministry released the results of this year’s textbook screening on March 28.

A total of 149 textbooks on 11 subjects were submitted for screening, and the ministry said all of them passed the screening process.

Under the central government’s school concept called GIGA (Global and Innovation Gateway for All), students at almost all public elementary schools will have a terminal device, such as an iPad, provided by their school.

All 149 textbooks will come with QR-codes so that students can view the learning materials on their devices.

In the previous screening for elementary school textbooks, which was conducted in the 2018 school year, 164 textbooks passed the screening.

Of the 164, nine textbooks did not come with QR-codes.

(This article was compiled from reports by Rika Yuminaga and Norihiko Kuwabara.)